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5886To Clean or Not to Clean

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  • K Murphy
    Nov 1, 2004
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      Okay, technically this is not a costuming question, but I am hoping to get some advice from people who know about fabric and whom I know I can trust.

      I found an older (48 stars) flag that is 3' x 5' large, and I would like to display it on my living room wall. But first I would like to clean it, because the "white" stripes appear almost brown. I think the flag is made of linen. The blue is very faded, and the red has turned kind of rusty, but the flag is still beautiful. The different colored fabrics are stitched together, but the colors do not appear to have "run," so I'm hoping that means it's colorfast. The fabric has only one small hole, and there is a reinforced binding I think I could safely roll around a support.

      One flag dealer I checked with advises not cleaning the flag at all, just "enjoying its patina." Another site I checked on advises cleaning large textiles in the bathtub with Neutrogina Face Wash.

      Could anyone with experience or knowledge about this kind of thing offer some advice?


      Kate Murphy

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